MUNDULLA dairyfarmer Evan Schmidt (pictured with his son Brad) is "very pleased" to see milk prices open on a positive note this year.
"Dairyfarmers have been hanging-out on the hope and belief that prices this year will give us a future in the industry and enable us to recover from the difficult period last year," he said.
The Warrnambool Cheese & Butter supplier, who with his wife Kerry and Brad run Yarradulla Dairy, milking up to 400 cows, says the company's opening price of $5.65 a kilogram milk solids is a good- enough start and will enable them to get back on their feet and have confidence to reinvest.
But he hopes that "this is not just a one-off year", stressing the importance of the need to string a few years of good prices together.
"I think it's absolutely essential that we don't have a drop in price in 12 months' time because farmers would just lose faith in the industry if the price dropped away again," he said.
"We've been through such a difficult period that I believe farmers will say it isn't worth it if it's just one good year."
Evan says the increased price, along with WCB's final step-up of 6 cents/kg butterfat and 15c/kg protein, will go towards servicing grain, fuel and electricity bills - the three things that have really hurt them in recent times.
And seasonal conditions are "looking up".
"All our crops are in the ground now and coming away quite well," he said.
"Now we're just hoping for a decent spring and a good finish."
*Full report in Stock Journal, June 20 issue, 2013.